Core koala habitat in a forest near Casino is being illegally logged, according to the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).
Spokesperson for NEFA, Dailan Pugh, said a weekend inspection of logging areas in Royal Camp State Forest, 16km southwest of Casino, revealed logging was ‘underway in one koala high-use area, about to enter another and proposed for two more’.
NEFA has written to the ministers for environment and primary industries urging them to take urgent action to stop the illegal logging by Forests NSW.
‘Forests NSW are prohibited from logging in koala high-use areas by their Threatened Species licence,’ Mr Pugh said.
‘Royal Camp is known to have a large koala population, and Forests NSW are legally required to thoroughly search for koala scats (faecal pellets) in advance of logging in order to identify and protect koala high-use areas.
‘We could see no evidence that Forests NSW had searched for scats. Given how easily we found them in the few areas we searched, we expect they have already logged some high-use areas and that we have only identified a few of the areas they are about to log.
‘Unless stopped, Forests NSW will continue logging this core koala habitat today. The ministers must act urgently.
‘NEFA has identified numerous other breaches of licence requirements in Royal Camp State Forest and have asked the ministers for their assurance that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will prosecute Forests NSW for their failure to meet their legal obligations to protect koalas and other threatened species’.